Burton Beach Rowers find fairytale magic at Northwest Rowing Championships

May 18-19 was a busy weekend for the members of the Burton Beach Rowing Club.

May 18-19 was a busy weekend for the members of the Burton Beach Rowing Club, who made their way to the annual Northwest Rowing Championships in Vancouver, Washington.

Leading the way for the BBRC was Briar Guenther, who found an extra gear in his U17 single race to power from fourth to second through the final 250 meters, finishing just seven-tenths of a second behind good friend and rival Ronan Maher of the strong Oregon Rowing Unlimited team in a field of 19 entries.

Guenther later teamed up with Will Parker in the U17 double. Parker drove up the stroke rate, and their sprint carried them to the silver medal behind Seattle Scullers with just a few meters to go.

In other races, the novices Maude Jackson and Willa Lee survived a few misadventures to grab a well-earned bronze in their double. Paige Gibbons and Brisa Ordonez-Ramirez surprised themselves with a fantastic effort in the women’s JV double, powering to another silver for BBRC.

Ordonez-Ramirez also earned a bronze in the JV single with a solid, impressive race. Sophomores Zack Merrigan and Emmett Cox raced above their age grade to a bronze in the JV Men’s 2x.

Closing off the regatta for Burton was the ever-popular High School 8+ race. Although it’s rare to see BBRC racing an eight, the young rowers looked smooth and powerful as they won gold in their division of the race.

It’s a Northwest tradition to dress up for this event, and “Snow White (Grant Gonter) and the Seven Dwarfs” were very ably coxed by senior and Evil Queen Caroline Barnes in her last race with BBRC.

Aside from Barnes, who will be attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo this autumn, Burton Beach is graduating two other seniors, Sasha Thompson and Keziah Rutschow. Thompson will join the crew at Washington State, while Rutschow will be rowing with the Cal Poly Humboldt Lumberjacks.

Ken Jackson is the president of the Burton Beach Rowing Club.